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Is lead contact that much of a health issue?

Discussion in 'General Gun Discussions' started by FlSwampRat, May 29, 2019.

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  1. .308 Norma

    .308 Norma Member

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    What? Do you mean to tell me that extra 30 lbs I'm carrying around isn't the lead I've picked up while walking back and forth to check my targets at the range?:confused::D
     
  2. Hookeye

    Hookeye Member

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    Your story, tell the doc whatever you want LOL

    I refuse to discuss my shooting/hunting with my GP or other health care folks.
    Unless of course I've seen them on the range ;)

    Luckily, 3 of my doctors are/were shooters.
     
    Last edited: May 31, 2019
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  3. denton

    denton Member

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    Mine reloads at my house.
     
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  4. Dudedog
    • Contributing Member

    Dudedog Contributing Member

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    Lead contact, no.
    Lead poisoning yes.

    I had sky high lead levels at one point in time.
    To make a long story short I traced it to an indoor range were I used to shoot.
    Lead poisoning is no laughing matter, nothing fun down that road.

    It pays to be careful.
     
  5. hso

    hso Moderator Staff Member

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  6. alsaqr

    alsaqr Member

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    i've had lead poisoning twice. Both times from the burning of small arms ammunition in huge quantities. In 1992 i came home after destroying the unserviceable ammunition from Desert Storm where we burned hundreds of millions of all calibers of US military small arms ammunition. At first we cleaned out the burn pits: Large clouds of lead dust.

    Took an employment physical soon after arriving home. A month later the blood test caught up with me: Astronomically high level of lead. i took huge daily doses of vitamin C and within a few months my lead levels were near normal.

    This gentleman was shot during the UV massacre. His body contains numerous particles of lead that cannot be removed: He is suffering:

    "Now, with his blood lead levels seven times higher than what is considered safe, Goddard faces long-term health risks, including neurological problems, kidney dysfunction and reproductive issues".


    http://www.msn.com/en-us/health/hea...kill-them/ar-AACcwtk?li=BBnb7Kz&OCID=AVRES000
     
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  7. kmw1954

    kmw1954 Member

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    Very interesting once again. Not here to dispute the hazard but to convey a sense of reality.

    I am a chronic cardiac sufferer with Hypertension and elevated Cholesterol. I have been on 4 different statin drugs over the past 20 years and have developed negative reactions to any and all statins yet the Dr's keep putting me on them. Old Cardiologist retired, new Cardiologist immediately prescribed a statin against my warnings. That night I took the pill and ended up awake all night in terrible pain and was very close to going to the ER except that I already knew there was nothing they could do. Next morning I called and screamed at the Dr.

    Anyways because of these experiences I pay very close attention to any and all new medications and find it hilariously funny with the TV commercials and the disclaimers at the end with the side effect warning. Some of which can cause greater harm than the illness they are trying to treat!

    My biggest and only regret is that I didn't quit smoking 20 years ago after my first bypass was performed on both legs. Now after a triple bypass open heart surgery I was able to quit 2+ years ago.
     
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  8. Odd Job

    Odd Job Moderator Staff Member

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    When it comes to retained bullets with exposed lead surfaces, the hazard is directly related to whether the bullet has contact with synovial fluid or not.
    Synovial fluid in joints can promote the availability of lead from retained bullets to be absorbed into the blood stream. There are many cases in the literature where people have suffered plumbism years after being shot. The common feature of these cases is bullets or fragments with an exposed lead surface being retained in a joint or in a vertebral disc where synovial fluid can act on it.

    In most cases, projectiles and components thereof will be surgically removed only if:

    1) There is an infection risk. An example of this is a shotcup from a close range shotgun wound
    2) There is a mechanical hazard, such as a vascular embolism or an impingement on a joint surface
    3) There is a risk of plumbism (lead toxicity)
    5) The fragment or bullet was in the surgical path or was easily accessed under local anaesthetic
    6) The bullet or fragment is causing the patient physical discomfort or emotional distress

    There is another category, where it may be determined prior to surgery that components are ferro-magnetic and may interfere with future MRI scans. If these are found around the head or face, or near the spine, somebody might go fishing for that if it is safe to do so. But in most of the cases I have seen, those pieces have been left in situ and the patient has been managed on the assumption the fragments are ferro-magnetic.
    There is a complicated decision process about the potential MRI hazards of any given projectile, dependent on what it is, where it is and how long it has been there.
     
  9. jmorris

    jmorris Member

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    I shot weekly matches reloaded and cast bullets and one of our members who had her lead levels tested every year came back high. So I had mine tested, as well as a few others and a lot of us were high too. Turns out the club members that were high were the ones that shot the indoor matches.

    Long story short the club quit even holding indoor matches but it was after a couple of us quit shooting them and over time our lead levels went back to normal despite still shooting weekly matches, reloading, etc.
     
  10. Waveski

    Waveski Member

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    You make a good case - It is vitally important , as a patient , to be a well informed advocate for yourself. I have had similar experiences.
    One of the reasons I like this thread is that there is information here that aides each of us in that informed advocacy.
     
  11. Hookeye

    Hookeye Member

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    Know a few guys walking around with bullets in them.
    Seem to be fine outside of the physical damage done from catching them.
     
  12. Hookeye

    Hookeye Member

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    I have friends and family in the medical field.
    Of course sick people go to the doctor.
    But I wonder how many screwed up treatments do more harm than good.
    Have seen some folks dang near killed by crappy docs and hospitals.
    Am not anti medical..............but there are a bunch of scary people working in the field.
    Too many patients rely on others to fix them, don't take the responsibility for maintaining their own health/being informed.

    With lead poisoning, I hope the course of treatment is relatively risk free.
    Read up...........high dose of certain vitamins supposedly works.

    I'd be leery of any drugs prescribed.
    Suppose in severe cases maybe they have to?
     
  13. Hookeye

    Hookeye Member

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    I've read up on metal poisoning.
    They list so many symptoms.........it sounds like all the junk that happens when you go past age 50.
     
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  14. Double Naught Spy

    Double Naught Spy Sus Venator

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    They do. Many of the symptoms are very generic as well and can be the result of a whole host of causes other than lead poisoning.

    No doubt a lot such lead poisoning incidents go undiagnosed (patient does not complain about "normal" aches and pains" of growing old to the doc) or misdiagnosed for a whole variety of reasons (patient fails to indicate lead exposure incidents, doc fails to inquire about lead exposure incidents, and so no lead test is given, patient provides a no-lead backstory that patient believes is the cause of his symptoms and doctor treats accordingly*, etc.). I would not be surprised that people suffer from a lot of issues that they dismiss simply as "getting old" that may be due to lead poisoning and other exposures or illnesses.

    * = This actually happened to my buddy who was suffering joint paint and who blamed is bodily breakdown on his Ranger service, SWAT service, and general police work taking a toll on his body. He suffered a minor back "strain" at work while "moving boxes" that the doc treated with muscle relaxers and limited duty, only the problem did not go away. It wasn't until a followup visit due to additional suffering that my buddy explained the injury incident in detail, explaining that he was moving cases of ammo at the police gun range which prompted the doctor to asked more questions about length of employment there, exposure, etc. and to order follow-up tests that revealed high lead levels.

    After all was said and done, my buddy still has some joint pain. His years of service have taken a toll on his body, but he is in much better shape after chelation than he was before it. His joint pain isn't worsened by lead accumulation.

    Somebody above noted that lead will leave the body naturally. That is true. The problem is that it can take months for it to leave the soft tissue and decades for it to leave the bones. Permanent damage can occur before that happens. https://www.cpwr.com/sites/default/files/training/lead/Lead 2.pdf
     
  15. Elkins45

    Elkins45 Member

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    I finally found the vapor pressure graph for metals.

    vapor-press1-big.png

    800°F would be a VERY hot casting pot, and 800°F converts to 700°K. As you can see from the graph the vapor pressure of Pb at 700°K is 10-6 mm Hg. That’s way less than 1. By contrast, standard atmospheric pressure at sea level is 760 mm Hg. Air pressure is literally holding the Pb vapor in the pot with hundreds of times more pressure than it has to escape. Lead oxide is a danger when casting, but airborne vapor simply isn’t a significant factor.
     
  16. Hookeye

    Hookeye Member

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    Well, maybe I should have another blood test and check for aluminum poisoning.
     
  17. jmorris

    jmorris Member

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    You may be joking but there are other metals that are otherwise harmless that you don’t want to breath in, Beryllium copper comes to mind.
     
  18. Slamfire

    Slamfire Member

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    It is no wonder that there are so many skeptics about the health hazards of lead, decades of industry education taught us that lead was good for little Boys and Girls:

    oIVwtG5.jpg
    BoavwGp.jpg
    ZIooh5P.jpg



    Even though experts were educating the public that lead was just wonderful for children to play with, lead was the first industrial toxin to have any industry regulations. Lead toxicity was recognized in this 1911 Industrial Labor standard.

    Bulletin of the Bureau of Labor
    , Issues 94-96 , pages 166 and 167

    http://books.google.com/books?id=8c...EdbNWa60HEk481-PwNww&ci=48,61,857,1514&edge=0

    I believe the greatest risk of lead ingestion/inhalation is from shooting cast bullets. This is from a 1970's study:

    cFdtyUT.jpg

    It used to the work force standard limit was 80 micrograms lead per cubic meter, it might be less now, and this study shows that each shot blows out 5643 micrgrams of lead into the air! Anyone who has been in the older indoor pistol ranges knows they had zero ventilation and you always left the range with the metallic taste in your mouth. One of these days I will post a picture of an indoor pistol range built in the 1970's. It is a totally enclosed area, all concrete block, with one door in the back to bring equipment in and out. No forced air ventilation at all. What a toxic waste site!

    Even if you go with plated bullets, there is a significant amount of lead that comes from primers. The chart shows 403 micrograms

    I make sure that I shoot in an area that is well ventilated. My lead levels spiked after being squadded on an out door range, but the firing point was enclosed with a wall behind, a connected roof, and side. Only the target side was open to the atmosphere. I am certain the whole area is covered with lead dust, and shooters at that location are in a fog of lead and powder particles during matches. The heck with that. Since that experience I have always requested to shoot on the side where there is no wall behind the shooters. The air flow is much better.


    I wondered where lead accumulates in the body, and the deniers are going to ignore this:

    Oregon Health Department:

    https://www.oregon.gov/oha/ph/Healt...cuments/introhealtheffectsmedicalprovider.pdf


    Lead in the Body


    Lead is stored in the bone for decades, causing long-term internal exposure.


    Lead enters the body primarily through inhalation and ingestion of lead containing dust. Once in the body, lead travels in the blood to soft tissues such as the liver, kidneys, lungs, brain, spleen, muscles, and heart. The body does not change lead into any other form. Once it is taken in and distributed to the organs, the lead that is not stored in the bones is eliminated slowly from the body by the kidneys and gastrointestinal tract; negligible amounts of lead are lost through perspiration. About 99% of the amount of lead taken into the body of an adult will leave in the waste within a couple of weeks, but only about 32% of the lead taken into the body of a child will leave in the waste. (Barry 1975)


    The half-life of lead varies from about a month in blood, 1-1.5 months in soft tissue, and about 25-30 years in bone (ATSDR 2007). Lead in bone is considered a biomarker of cumulative exposure because lead accumulates in bone over the lifetime and most of the lead body burden resides in bone. Some of the lead can stay in the bones for decades; however, some lead can leave the bones and reenter the blood and organs under certain circumstances, for example, during pregnancy and periods of breast-feeding, after a bone is broken, and during advancing age.


    So guys, inhale all that lead you love, and when you get old and break a leg, or a hip, you are going to have a massive lead release into your blood system.
     
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  19. Elkins45

    Elkins45 Member

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    Just to be clear, I am in no way ignoring that lead exposure is a real and very serious problem for shooters. I’m jut pointing out that vapors from a bullet casting pot are not a significant source of exposure. I would worry about the oxides that form on cold stored ingots more than the hot casting pot. And shooting lead bullets needs to be done outdoors if at all possible, preferably with the wind at your back.
     
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  20. Waveski

    Waveski Member

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    So guys, inhale all that lead you love, and when you get old and break a leg, or a hip, you are going to have a massive lead release into your blood system.[/QUOTE]

    There certainly was not a prevalence of such a cavalier attitude towards the subject matter in this thread.
    It is prudent to be well informed and to take reasonable precautions .
     
  21. alsaqr

    alsaqr Member

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    BTW: Toothpaste tubes were formerly made of lead and tin. Lead toothpaste tubes were phased out beginning in WWII in favor of aluminum and plastic.
     
  22. old lady new shooter

    old lady new shooter Member

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    You can buy wipes for removing lead residue from your hands, I have a container of them in my range bag and use one right after packing up my stuff and before handling anything else, including the payment/receipt procedure.
    https://www.amazon.com/Hygenall-LeadOff-Disposable-Cleaning-Decon/dp/B001SJ0JIU
     
  23. old lady new shooter

    old lady new shooter Member

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    I remember that! :)
     
  24. George P

    George P Member

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    Thanks! I'm going to check it out
     
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  25. old lady new shooter

    old lady new shooter Member

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    You don't have to get ascorbic acid from grapefruit juice, you can take a supplement, it's one of the cheapest.
     
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